Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs



Villeneuve plans return

Jacques Villeneuve wants to return to Formula One as part of the expanded series from next year. The 1997 world champion last raced in F1 in 2006, pulling out after 12 rounds following his exit from BMW Sauber. The 38-year-old Villeneuve has attended recent grands prix and spoken to unnamed team principals about the possibility of a seat. “I’m a racing driver and I always will be,” Villeneuve told Autosprint. “That’s why I’m looking about myself for F1. Driving is the only thing that interests me, and all the mess that’s happened helps me.” Villeneuve has competed in various events in recent years, including NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series and last season’s Le Mans 24 Hours. “The human aspect is counting again, as it did in the past. The work is more like the way I remember it,” he said. “When I left, F1 wasn’t fun anymore. Or rather, driving still was, but the atmosphere outside was bad. You’d spend your half-hour with your race engineer, after which the computer would prepare your set-up, and they would tell you ‘Shut up and drive.’”


Sakic looks likely to retire

Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will hold a news conference today and make an announcement regarding his career, the team said on Tuesday on its Web site, The 40-year-old, who has played 20 seasons with the franchise including seven when they were the Quebec Nordiques, was expected to announce his retirement, Denver media reported. The future Hall of Famer led the Avalanche to Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001 and helped Canada win the 2002 Olympic ice hockey gold medal.


Pronger, Flyers sign deal

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger to a multi-year contract extension, the team said on Tuesday. Pronger, 34, joined the Flyers from the Anaheim Ducks in a blockbuster multi-player trade at the NHL draft last month. The league MVP in 2000 registered 11 goals, 37 assists and 48 points for the Ducks last season.


‘Monster’ signs with Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed coveted Swedish free agent goalie Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract on Tuesday. The 24-year-old netminder, nicknamed “The Monster,” was also heavily pursued by Dallas, San Jose and Colorado. “Jonas is considered by many to be the best goaltender not playing in the NHL today,” Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said in a statement. Gustavsson played for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League last season, registering four shutouts with a league-leading 1.96 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 42 games.


NBA salary cap drops

The NBA salary cap has been set for next season at US$57.7 million, a decline from 2008-2009, allowing teams to begin signing players. The figure the league announced on Tuesday night was about US$1 million less than last season’s cap of US$58.68 million, even though league-wide revenue rose 2.5 percent. The number is expected to drop further next season when the full effect of the economic difficulties hit. The new salary cap went into effect at 12:01am EDT on Wednesday, ending the NBA’s moratorium period and allowing free agents to sign deals with teams. The luxury tax level also dropped to US$69.92 million. Any team whose salary exceeds that will have to pay US$1 for every US$1 it goes over.

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